Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (24th December, 2004)


Birding Site Guide

KM197 (about 1,300m elevation) was reached by taking a 20 minute bus ride to the town of Zunil from Quetzaltenango followed by another 25 bus ride 17km downhill Towards Reu and the pacific coast. A bus could however be caught directly from Quetzaltenango from the terminal. The difficult part was knowing where to get off. My bus driver didn't know of the place so I had to keep an eye on the poorly marked kilometre marks on the road. There was actually a white concrete post at a right turn that had been knocked over which read 'Km197 Finca Chicharros'. My site guide said Km197 was called Finca Pantonil and road at that point was marked as Km 198.4! I was confused by this so checked further down the road but the next turn was at Km 196.3. I turned right here and walked through coffee plantations with some forest and scattered trees. This track actually met up with the first one. This area had many birds and as I only birded a few hours from 9am, my list is just scratching the surface. I saw 2 Azure-rumped (Cabini's) Tanagers (my target species) feeding in a fruit tree at 1,315m just a few hundred metres from the Km 197 sign. I also heard the distinctive call of the Highland Guan down in the valley at the coffee plantation. Other notable species were Black Hawk-Eagle (slightly out of geographical and altitudinal range) and Blue-tailed Hummingbird which was seen feeding young. I saw a total of 35 species including 2 lifers. My site guide mentioned bandit activity in the area but I had no problems. Once off the main road and into the coffee plantation there should be no problem. However the entrance to the tracks were either fenced off or a gate locked so travelling by car might mean leaving it by the main road. 

Species seen 

  • Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
  • Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
  • Black Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus tyrannus
  • Highland Guan h Penelopina nigra
  • White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
  • White-fronted Parrot Amazona albifrons
  • Violet Sabrewing Campylopterus hemileucurus
  • Blue-tailed Hummingbird Saucerottia cyanura
  • Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus momota
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes aurifrons
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee Contopus virens
  • Tropical Pewee Contopus cinereus
  • Yellowish Flycatcher Empidonax flavescens
  • Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer
  • Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua
  • Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis
  • Gray Silky-flycatcher Ptilogonys cinereus
  • Band-backed Wren Campylorhynchus zonatus
  • House Wren Troglodytes aedon
  • Brown-backed Solitaire Myadestes occidentalis
  • Swainson's Thrush ? Catharus ustulatus
  • White-throated Magpie-Jay Calocitta formosa
  • Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius
  • Warbling Vireo ? Vireo gilvus
  • Tennessee Warbler Vermivora peregrina
  • Magnolia Warbler Dendroica magnolia
  • Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia
  • Wilson's Warbler Wilsonia pusilla
  • Rufous-capped Warbler Basileuterus rufifrons
  • Common Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus
  • Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana
  • Yellow-winged Tanager Thraupis abbas
  • Azure-rumped Tanager Tangara cabanisi
  • Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus
  • Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse